Posted: Monday, November 6, 2017

GCS Employee Spotlight Presented by Horace Mann

Ten outstanding Greenville County Schools employees have been selected for recognition as part of the Employee Spotlight Program presented by Horace Mann. The Employee Spotlight Program honors staff members who have made significant contributions or accomplishments on the job at Greenville County Schools. Any GCS employee in good standing may be nominated. The application includes a description of why the nominee is deserving, how the nominee goes above and beyond to exceed expectations, and what is different, better or improved because of the nominee.  Recipients were nominated by fellow GCS employees. Horace Mann will provide either a pancake breakfast or ice cream social to each recipient’s school or department.

Jessica Allen, FANS Manager, A.J. Whittenberg Elementary

Jessica Allen, FANS Manager, A. J. Whittenberg Elementary

  • 8 Years with GCS
  • Jessica Allen is a change agent. She takes pride in her job, and it shows in everything she does. She has created a connection with her cafeteria staff, staff at the school, but most importantly, a connection with our students. When a school evacuation required students to be dismissed from outside the building, Mrs. Allen kept a calm demeanor as she helped monitor students, direct traffic, and load students into cars.

Kenneth Ashworth, Assistant Principal, Hillcrest High

Kenneth Ashworth, Assistant Principal, Hillcrest High

  • 16 Years with GCS
  • Kenneth Ashworth is recognized for his work this summer to coordinate a Career Fair for nearly 600 freshmen to participate involving various organizations from the community and our Golden Strip Career Center. This event helped students gain a better understanding of various careers available and the coursework needed to reach those goals. Mr. Ashworth is always willing to do whatever it takes for the school.

Tim Cushman, Director of Instructional Technology, GCS Instructional Technology Department

Tim Cushman, Director of Instructional Technology, GCS Instructional Technology Department

  • 14 Years with GCS
  • Tim Cushman’s wisdom is revealed in his ability to understand and demonstrate the transformational power of technology in K-12 classrooms. As many in Greenville County Schools could attest, if Mr. Cushman has been a part of your initiative, it is different, better, and improved because he brings his best to every project and task. The culture, effectiveness, and growth of the IT department are a direct result of his tireless leadership, wisdom, and guidance.

Troy Elsenheimer, Plant Engineer, Woodmont Middle School

Troy Elsenheimer, Plant Engineer, Woodmont Middle School

  • 8 Years with GCS
  • Troy Elsenheimer is always at the ready to tackle any problem, concern, or issue involving the operations of the school. Mr. Elsenheimer has made it his mission to be a positive role model for students. He is one of the baseball coaches, is involved with D team football, and is also a first responder. He comes in early and stays late when he and his staff have a deadline to meet, and he helps his staff know that he cares about them as people, not just employees.

Ron Gunter, Fourth Grade Teacher, Skyland Elementary School

Ron Gunter, Fourth Grade Teacher, Skyland Elementary School

  • 23 Years with GCS
  • Ron Gunter has steadily implemented excellent learning experiences which go beyond expectations. Students in Mr. Gunter’s classroom enjoy using the high-powered telescope to study the sky. He started an extracurricular "Upstate History Club," and probably of greatest impact to his school, created and now operates the SETV program. As a result, student learning about real world issues is enhanced in a meaningful way. Mr. Gunter helps build better citizenship for our students.

Pat Messer, Attendance Clerk, Tigerville Elementary

Pat Messer, Attendance Clerk, Tigerville Elementary

  • 25 Years with GCS
  • Pat Messer is the eyes and ears of Tigerville Elementary. She has a keen insight into children's home life, needs, desires, and well-being. She assists teachers with activities, serves lunch during the annual Thanksgiving meal, and volunteers at school events. Mrs. Messer is the first welcoming face you encounter when you enter the building, and Tigerville would not be the home it is without her. Mrs. Messer has an honest loving heart and soul. She loves all and is not afraid to spread her love.

Bernard Simpson, Bus Driver, Taylors Bus Center

Bernard Simpson, Bus Driver, Taylors Bus Center

  • 28 Years with GCS
  • Bernard Simpson has driven his bus route for so long that he knows all of his students, their parents, and extended families. For some families, Mr. Simpson transported parents years ago and now provides transportation services for their children. The Mitchell Road Elementary family believes that they truly have a gem in Mr. Simpson. He is consistent, dependable, and dedicated to safely transporting students each and every day. He is often called upon to drive other routes during times of shortage, and he does so with a smile.

Kevin Washington, Intervention Specialist, GCS Student Services

Kevin Washington, Intervention Specialist, GCS Student Services

  • 7 Years with GCS
  • Kevin Washington is a born mentor who always goes above and beyond to help others achieve success. In addition to assisting stakeholders as an intervention specialist, Mr. Washington coaches for Mauldin High School. For the past three years, he has assisted two members of the Chandler Creek Elementary staff in developing and teaching a boys group called Work in Progress. The behavior at Chandler Creek Elementary and the success of boys in the WIP club are due to Mr. Washington's actions. Through weekly meetings, authentic experiences, and his guiding words, he has been a mentor for the boys and helped them to navigate the path to being successful.

Stephanie White, Fifth Grade Teacher, Cherrydale Elementary School

Stephanie White, Fifth Grade Teacher, Cherrydale Elementary School

  • 3 Years with GCS
  • In her fifth grade math and science classroom, Stephanie White’s love of learning is spread to her students by her contagious success-driven attitude. Mrs. White teaches the whole child through integrated learning. While she is compassionate towards her students’ often difficult situations, she maintains high expectations for them in their academics as well as in their social interactions. Mrs. White has transformed the school through her tireless efforts. She is established as a vital part of the school’s community and is dedicated to improving student achievement through rigorous instruction. Mrs. White is a difference maker!

Tyson Wright, Behavior Interventionist, Chandler Creek Elementary School

Tyson Wright, Behavior Interventionist, Chandler Creek Elementary School

  • 6 Years with GCS
  • Tyson Wright worked with two other team members to create a boys group called Work in Progress. Over the last two years, the club has annually served 20-25 boys in grades four and five. Mr. Wright is able to meet with needed students for check-in on a daily basis, and he serves as an advocate for student needs. He is always available to assist students, staff, and families in helping students achieve success. Mr. Wright's assistance with the Work in Progress club goes above and beyond his duty requirements as a teacher and behavior interventionist, and behavior in the school has been positively changed throughout the building because of his hard work.”

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann was founded in 1945 by two Springfield, Illinois, teachers who saw a need for quality, affordable auto insurance for teachers. Since then, Horace Mann has broadened its mission to helping all educators protect what they have today and prepare for a successful tomorrow. 

Horace Mann is motivated by the fact that educators take care of children’s futures, and they believe each educator deserves someone to look after theirs.  They help educators identify their financial goals and develop plans to achieve them.  This includes insurance to protect what they have today and financial products to help them prepare for their future. Horace Mann’s tailored offerings include special rates and benefits for educators.

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